Friday, November 25, 2016

Personal Revelation Can Be Powerful Even When It Is Not Unique

I want to share something that I learned a while ago that has meant a lot to me since then.

There is a phrase in my Patriarchal Blessing that has meant a lot to me over the years, since it applied so amazingly to my life in a way that couldn't have been seen when I got the blessing. In talking with my siblings over the weekend of my father's funeral, I found out that one of my brothers has the exact same phrase in his blessing - given by the same Patriarch. That phrasing might have been unique to us, but it might be a stock phrase he used in lots of blessings.

What hit me when I heard my brother mention the phrase relative to his life (after the initial surprise wore off), and when he talked about how important it is now in his unique situation, is that I don't care if it is unique to us or part of thousands of other blessings. It doesn't lessen what it has meant to me in the past either way, and it would be stupid of me to throw away real meaning and power simply because it might not be unique wording. The "revelation" (understanding) I have received from contemplating that wording has been special - far more special than the wording itself.
I don't believe the heavens part and the Patriarch always speaks, comprehensively, exact words dictated by the Holy Ghost. I do believe, however, having had some really good discussions with Patriarchs whom I respect and admire, that they often get impressions of things they then put into whatever words make sense to them - exactly as has happened to me occasionally when I'm giving Priesthood blessings. Sometimes those impressions are somewhat ambiguous, but sometimes they are so clear and different that I have been surprised to hear what I'm saying. Thus, I see a Patriarchal Blessing as the best approximation of revelation possible given the avenue / conduit / speaker involved.

It's a lot like I see scripture - not infallible, often wrong and sometimes filtered almost completely through personal prisms that hide nearly all of the pure message, but meaningful and inspired to various degrees.

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